Salmon derby a beehive of activity
Sun Times staff
This year’s Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular is attracting significant numbers so far, both on land and water.
“There’s no question it’s been busier,” Chris Geberdt, prize chair of the 10-day fishing derby, said in an interview Sunday.
The eastward expansion of the event’s fishing territory – from Vail’s Point to Delphi Point near Craigleith Provincial Park – is likely one of the reasons for the increase, he said.
Organizers noted that Mike Higginson of Meaford, the derby’s leader as of Sunday afternoon, caught his 23.15-pound salmon within the new area.
About 370 salmon and trout were entered on opening day of the derby, which continues until Sept. 1. Another 261 were weighed in on Saturday and organizers said Sunday’s count had already surpassed 100 by midday.
Those numbers are up significantly from those recorded in the first days of at least the past four derbies.
Last year, 214 fish were entered on Day 1 and another 206 on Day 2. Just under 225 fish were entered on Day 1 of the 2016 derby and 196 were weighed in on Day 2. In both 2015 and 2016, there were less fish entered on the first two days than during this year’s opening day.
Geberdt said he believes it’s been busier under the Salmon derby tent this year as well. He said about 1,600 people were served food during the first giant fish fry of the derby on Saturday.
Geberdt, who also organized Kid’s Day at the derby Sunday, said he believes that event drew record crowds.
It included between 30 to 40 activities for children, including many bouncy castles, dirt bike rides, pony rides, face painting, games and – new this year – a zipline ride. He said Kids’ Day wouldn’t be possible without the support of Bell, Tim Hortons and Sun Life Financial.